Dataset for the harmful effects of surgical plume inhalation on theatre staff - a systematic review

Published: 3 January 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/nv9p6gcd9j.1
Kayla Dixon


Surgical smoke refers to the plume generated by the use of energy-generating surgical equipment on tissue, and is hypothesised to contain carcinogenic chemicals and infective material. This has become of particular concern following the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, pandemic. This dataset represents the results of a systematic review of original articles related to surgical smoke, it's characteristics and the effect of it's inhalation of operating room personnel. In particular, this data addresses particle size, infection risk, chemical composition, carcinogenicity and whether laparoscopic surgery produces more surgical plume than open surgery. Data was gathered through a search of OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed databases, and all human in-vivo and ex-vivo studies were included. Data was extracted from 28 original articles. Surgical smoke particles were found to be respirable in size, with viral DNA also being present in the plume. Further, the data demonstrated the ability for this smoke to produce viral infection of nasal epithelial cells. Carcinogenic compounds were also present in the plume in concentrations above occupational safety limits. Finally, the data suggested that open surgery generally produced less smoke than laparoscopic.



University of Birmingham


Surgery, Plume, Diathermy